- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2008

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (UPI) — The Pacific Wheel, the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier in California, is heading inland after an Oklahoma developer bought it on eBay.

Grant Humphreys of Oklahoma City bid $130,400 for the wheel, KTLA reports. The 10-day auction ended last week.

Pacific Park plans to donate half the proceeds from the sale to Special Olympics Southern California.

The Pacific Wheel was installed in 1996, and two years later, became the first Ferris wheel in the world to be solar-powered.

Pacific Park will allow anyone living in Santa Monica to ride for free on the Pacific Wheel through May 4. One rider will be selected Thursday to be the last one on the wheel.

Installation begins May 5 on a $1.5 million high-tech Ferris wheel, scheduled to debut May 22.

The minimum bid for the Ferris wheel was $50,000. The Los Angeles Times reports that most of the action was in the last few hours of bidding, with the price jumping almost $50,000 in the last 10 minutes.

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